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The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man: A Dreamlands Campaign for Call of Cthulhu
by Larry H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2013 23:35:46
This document is the best I've seen on the Dreamlands. It keeps the Dreamlands mysterious and fantastic while at the same time underscoring the horrific and terrible nature of the realm. Too many depictions I've read either play up the place like a pure fantasy land, akin to Melibone or Hyperborea, in order to interject some lightheartedness into the mythos, or focus solely on the horrific aspects of things like the gugs or moonbeasts. Instead the authors develop both aspects equally, never letting the wonder and horror overpower the other overall. Individual moments within the campaign will emphasize one or the other, but the aggregate demonstrates the horror in beauty and the wonder of terror.
As a game supplement, the book is written well. The text is clear and easy to understand while remaining evocative and inspiring. The layout of the text is conducive to easy and quick reading and the artwork adds wonderfully to the atmosphere. So far, I think my favorite is an image of Nyarlathotep as the black pharaoh.
While this is written and published by the same guys responsible for the wonderful Delta Green books, this campaign fits well into any Call of Cthulhu campaign, with or without Delta Green, and the material inside is usable as source and reference material for any campaign which will involve the Dreamlands in any capacity.
A must buy for fans of Lovecraft's Mythos.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man: A Dreamlands Campaign for Call of Cthulhu
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The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man: A Dreamlands Campaign for Call of Cthulhu
by Kris L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/26/2013 12:51:13
A great campaign! Dennis takes us to a place few adventures have, the dreamlands, and shows us that it is both a place of great beauty and terrible nightmares all at once. It does require an experienced gamemaster who can predict his players to a degree and who can put enough prep time in so that they aren't flipping pages trying to figure out where the info they need is. It is very open, similar to video games like Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto, in-so-far as it doesn't railroad the players but this can make things a bit more difficult for the gm. If you love Call of Cthulhu and love the Dreamlands this is an adventure you don't wanna miss.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man: A Dreamlands Campaign for Call of Cthulhu
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2013 03:28:27
One of the most interesting premises for a Cthulhu campaign I've read in a while. Yet to play it, but it's definitely a book you can read easily enough and it's littered with original ideas.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia
by Martin P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2013 16:11:29
I really cannot review this item. I found no way to open this item up, so I cannot review it. If anyone has any hints on how to open it. I would love to hear it.

Thanks,

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia
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Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/02/2013 02:03:28
There was never much doubt that I’d love an A-to-Z summary of characters, creatures, places, tomes, and so on from H. P. Lovecraft’s influential corpus of weird fiction and related works inspired by Lovecraft’s story world(s)—and Dan Harms delivers in spades. I have only used the ePub version within iBooks on an iPad, so I can’t speak to the other formats. But the ePub version works great. The essay that the beginning on the origins and scope of the “Cthulhu Mythos” is quite valuable, too. Any Lovecraft aficionado or Cthulhu-curious reader will appreciate this book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Angels (ePub Edition)
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2013 10:46:04
I have been pretty stubborn when it comes to my superhero RPGs. Unlike fantasy RPGs, I just could not see where, as far as systems would go, the genre can go. Arc Dream Publishing emphasizes that there is plenty of room for Growth with Better Angels, a truly unique take on the Superhero RPG

Why This Book IS Iron
Better Angels has a lot of things very similar to other superhero systems. It has a quick and easy your roll versus my roll conflict mechanic and a small amount of stats and powers to make conflict resolution quick. Better Angels is a game where the players play villains, but even that is possible with most superhero RPGs.

What other superhero rpgs do not have is Better Angel’s character creation system. In most RPGs, each player builds their own character. In Better Angels, players create their character as a group, with players adjacent to you helping to designing major aspects of your character. Each player designs and implements the good parts of their character. However, the player next to him adds in all the vile, evil and awful things about the character. This unique character creation makes playing Better Angels a blast. The player next to you plays out the demon in you, and your character is always in conflict with this character. This weird game play makes for a fun game where you feel like you are arguing with yourself and attempting to push your own limits.

Outside of the actual game play, it should not be overlooked that the players are playing evil characters, and the book goes to great lengths to make sure players are playing comic book evil and not real life evil. The advice provided and campaign structure aids really help bridge the difficult gap it takes to run and play in an evil campaign. Because of the fun nature of Better Angels, the whole system feels more breezy than it actual is.

At 178 pages, book is pretty light for a single campaign book, a nice feature when you’re introducing a truly new system. The layout is spectacular, with everything from bookmarks to table of content fully linked and neatly organized. The art is gritty, but still possess that Iron Age of comics vibrant color look.

What is NOT Iron
The character creation can take a bit of time, and its important to make sure that each player understand the rules. There’s an example in the book of a player who just glossed over the system and ended up screwing over himself and making a less “conflicted” player next to him.

The Iron Word
Comic book fans who want to taste villainy in a system that is built for the bad guy should try out Better Angels. Character creation is a bit lengthy, but its worth it to play a character who is always fighting against his nature to lose control. I would love to see a system like this in a fantasy setting or as a supplement for other systems.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Angels (ePub Edition)
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Better Angels
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/31/2013 10:45:47
I have been pretty stubborn when it comes to my superhero RPGs. Unlike fantasy RPGs, I just could not see where, as far as systems would go, the genre can go. Arc Dream Publishing emphasizes that there is plenty of room for Growth with Better Angels, a truly unique take on the Superhero RPG

Why This Book IS Iron
Better Angels has a lot of things very similar to other superhero systems. It has a quick and easy your roll versus my roll conflict mechanic and a small amount of stats and powers to make conflict resolution quick. Better Angels is a game where the players play villains, but even that is possible with most superhero RPGs.

What other superhero rpgs do not have is Better Angel’s character creation system. In most RPGs, each player builds their own character. In Better Angels, players create their character as a group, with players adjacent to you helping to designing major aspects of your character. Each player designs and implements the good parts of their character. However, the player next to him adds in all the vile, evil and awful things about the character. This unique character creation makes playing Better Angels a blast. The player next to you plays out the demon in you, and your character is always in conflict with this character. This weird game play makes for a fun game where you feel like you are arguing with yourself and attempting to push your own limits.

Outside of the actual game play, it should not be overlooked that the players are playing evil characters, and the book goes to great lengths to make sure players are playing comic book evil and not real life evil. The advice provided and campaign structure aids really help bridge the difficult gap it takes to run and play in an evil campaign. Because of the fun nature of Better Angels, the whole system feels more breezy than it actual is.

At 178 pages, book is pretty light for a single campaign book, a nice feature when you’re introducing a truly new system. The layout is spectacular, with everything from bookmarks to table of content fully linked and neatly organized. The art is gritty, but still possess that Iron Age of comics vibrant color look.

What is NOT Iron
The character creation can take a bit of time, and its important to make sure that each player understand the rules. There’s an example in the book of a player who just glossed over the system and ended up screwing over himself and making a less “conflicted” player next to him.

The Iron Word
Comic book fans who want to taste villainy in a system that is built for the bad guy should try out Better Angels. Character creation is a bit lengthy, but its worth it to play a character who is always fighting against his nature to lose control. I would love to see a system like this in a fantasy setting or as a supplement for other systems.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Angels
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Better Angels
by Stuart C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2013 17:25:54
Good old fashioned supervillainy, and demonic corruption too.
Who can be the most eeeeevil?

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
GODLIKE Dice Rollers
by Matthew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2013 12:10:47
I was referrred to this product by a PC using friend. He really liked a couple of the rollers. I had hoped to use it on my iPad, but none of the rollers are capable of working on it because they are Windows based. I can use the java version on my Mac laptop. I don't dice roll on my laptop, so that's not really a solution. I don't use a PC so the majority of the dice rollers in this package are useless to me. Hopefully Arc Dream will make a Mac version.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
GODLIKE Dice Rollers
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Delta Green: Denied to the Enemy
by Jeffrey J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/09/2013 19:17:52
I very much enjoyed the book. I suppose if I took the time to think of every aspect I could come up with some criticisms, but as of now, I can't. For $1 you cannot go wrong with this book....If it was priced at $10 I might have given it 4 stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Denied to the Enemy
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GODLIKE: Superhero Roleplaying in a World on Fire, 1936-1946
by Robert S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/07/2013 22:56:01
Up for review this week is “Godlike,” a role-playing game designed by Pagan Publishing and released by Arc Dream Publishing.
The short version of that Godlike is a super heroes’ game set in the Second World War. It is not a four-color depiction of heroes, but a more plausible depiction of war and how superheroes would function in a war. By way of a movie comparison, it is not so much Captain America as it is Saving Private Ryan crossed with X-Men First Class.
Dennis Detwiller created Godlike and Greg Stolze is responsible for the game mechanics. Others involved include Allan Goodall, Shane Ivey and Jessica Hopkins.
One of Godlike’s few let down is the art – all of which is by Detwiller. It is predominantly photos from the Second World War… or edited photos from the Second World War. This does help to sell the tone and theme of the work, however it is also limiting and there are other ways to illustrate the game’s vibe. As such, the art is a disappointment.
To its credit, the book sports a solid table of contents and comprehensive index. It is also well organized, with chapters flowing logically, moving from general topics – such as a fairly standard “what is an RPG” and discussions of the many ways a character can die – to the specific, such as discussions of the powers available and even the kinds of standard rations available during the Second World War.
Within Godlike, super powers are called “miracles” and those who possess them are called talents.
Talents have the power to perform miracles, some great and some small, however they are soldiers first and thus are ultimately tools in a terrible war. Surviving and winning the war depend more on ability of a unit of talents to achieve their mission, rather than a single PC with the ability to kick the ass of every single German ever. This is a good and suits the game.
Less good is that the game is not amenable to a sandbox style of play.
Sandbox play requires several things, including openness, flexibility and of course 1,000 pounds of play quality sand. A game book does not have to provide the sand – that is usually available at your local hardware store - but it does have to provide openness and flexibility. Godlike has a lot going for it, a well executed work, solid mechanics, an intriguing premise and location. However, aside from that it is sadly inflexible.
Much of the book is devoted the an alternate time line for World War II, one which adheres as closely as possible to true events while still being a home to super powered people. So the Nazi’s army still breaks its teeth off on Stalingrad resistance by the winter of 1943, D-Day still happens on June 6th of 1944 and atomic bombs still destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.
Only one small section about a third of the through chapter eight discusses changing things, and then only briefly and more or less serves to give permission to do this rather than providing any tools or ideas for such a thing. The section elsewhere in the book describing in detail the types of army rations employed in the war is longer than the section on changing the course of the war – though the army rations section is a bit of interesting trivia while a discussion of changing the war would have been useful in an actual game.
Godlike possesses one of the most comprehensive and useful game mechanics for creating and using super powers available on in the RPG market. It provides a framework for creating everything from standards such as great strength, flight and damage resistance to rarer stuff, such as physical transformation, the ability to play with inertia and teleportation. For example, with this mechanical system the particular inventive genius of characters like Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom and Reed Richards are actually a kind of super power. Lastly, in addition to a system for creating super powers, Godlike provides almost 50 example powers.
Various draws backs balance all the powers. Here are some examples; to fly a talent must get a running start of 30-feet, a talent may use a miracle to bind or grapple targets but only so long as they are looking at the targets, or a talent might transform themselves into a copy of a target, but only if they taste the blood of the target. The miracle devices, like those created by the games version of Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom and Reed Richards, only work when their creators are watching.
In any event, the flaws make sense and do much to sell the talents, the miracles and the concept of the game itself.
Further, talents can – under the right circumstances and with the right rolls – negate each others’ powers, reducing each other temporarily to a standard mortal. So a talent who creates arguably mediocre miracles can contend with a talent who creates so-called Godlike miracles.
Godlike employs a mechanic unofficially called the “one roll engine” – it does not appear to have an official name. It is a dice pool mechanic, using a fistful of 10 sided dice. A player rolls a number of dice matching the characters score in a stat. So, if the character has a five in strength then the player will roll five dice for something related to strength. Miracles work the same way and depending on what the player is attempting to do and the circumstances, the score stat score adds to a power score and maybe a skill score to determine the number of dice rolled. The maximum number of dice rolled is 10.
This on its own would be more or less a repeat of the Storytelling engine employed by White Wolf games. However, mechanic designer Stolze adds an interesting twist in the form of not just the “height” of a success but the “width” of a success. Specifically, the number of matching dice determines success in a roll. So rolling a nine is useless unless the roll also produces at least one other nine. Getting multiple matching dice is is the width of the success and of course higher matching dice is useful and having multiple matching dice – say you roll a pair of fours and a pair of sixes – also has an impact on the game.
The mechanic also includes features called wiggle dice and hard dice. Hard dice are always 10 and the player determines the value of a wiggle dice, presumably to match the result of the dice roll to create a matching pair or expand an existing matching set.
The damage system is also specific, with the possibility of characters having a mental breakdown due to combat stress or getting their legs shot out from under them and surviving… or not.
To wrap this up, Godlike mechanically is solid and the setting meticulously well researched. A term like “realistic” is misused when discussing RPGs while a better term is “plausible.” As presented here, the “Godlike” world is highly plausible and the mechanic supports the game well. Further, the book is well organized.
However, weak art and a lack of sandbox style of play holds it back, meaning in the end it gets a 15 on a d20 roll.
If you are interested in a game set in the Second World War, check out Godlike. If you are interested in a comprehensive system for super powers, then check out Godlike. If you want both, then play Godlike.
Godlike is available through Arc Dream Publishing.
* * *
Neither of my grandfathers served in the Second World War – they were too old – but I had an Great-Uncle who served in the European theater. He did not like to talk about it but he was one of the men at Normandy on D-Day. That invasion went on for hours and he was among a group that apparently made landfall after dark. As it was told to me, not all the injured soldiers had been retrieved by that point and he and the others went up the beach with and screams and moans of injured Americans calling to them from the darkness.
And they pressed on.
And won the war.
I miss my great Uncle Art.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
GODLIKE: Superhero Roleplaying in a World on Fire, 1936-1946
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Grim War
by Jason B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2013 18:34:37
Fun game! Again, the bright spot for me in any ORE game is the fantastic world building. This is a complex world filled with many amazing characters.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grim War
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eCollapse
by Jason B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2013 18:09:30
Fantastic book- love the ore system. I appreciate the different ways of building super powers and the justifications for them.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
eCollapse
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The Unspeakable Oath 22
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/26/2013 15:44:55
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/02/25/tabletop-review-the-uns-
peakable-oath-issue-22-call-of-cthulhu-trail-of-cthulhu-cthu-
lhu-dark-delta-green/

Well, although The Unspeakable Oath isn’t back to a quarterly schedule, the gap between this issue and #21 (seven months) is noticeably smaller than the one between #21 and #20 (thirteen months). With a little luck, we might actually get to have more than one issue this year. Here’s hoping things get back on track for Arc Dream’s wonderful little periodical.

If you’re new to the concept of The Unspeakable Oath, it’s a magazine devoted to Cthulhu based roleplaying games. Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green, Trail of Cthulhu, Cthulhu Dark, Shadows of Cthulhu, Realms of Cthulhu Cthulhupunk and so on. If it’s a pen and paper system based on Lovecraftian beasties, they will try and cover it. The vast majority of content tends to be Call oriented, but this issue and the previous one have seen an increase in Trail of Cthulhu coverage. ToC isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m glad to see it get some coverage for those that like it. This issue contains fifteen different articles, so we’ll take a look at each one, then see if the overall package is worth you five to ten dollars (depending on the format you purchase it in).

The Dread Page of Azathoth – This issue Shane Ively takes a break from writing this, so Ken Hite can do a guest column lamenting the loss of Lynn Willis, one of the biggest names in the industry and the creator of so many great products, many of which were Cthulhu oriented. Just a really classy column and the loss of Willis is a loss for tabletop gaming as a whole.

Mysterious Manuscript: The Saffron Book – This is a short, one page article about a new tome for use with Call of Cthulhu. It’s a cute idea where the book can only be read while dreaming. Keepers who make extensive use of the Dreamlands will really like this one. It might be a bit hard for an inexperienced gamer to fit into an adventure or campaign without shoehorning it in though.

The Eye of Light and Darkness – As always, this is my least favorite section in the magazine. It’s eight pages of reviews, broken up into two areas in the magazine. I’m a not a fan of when any publication divides an article like that, and I also don’t like that they look at older products. Now, I’ve worked in the publishing industry since I was seventeen and I know the flow of magazines and the time it takes to go from concept to print, but the reviews are of products that are years old instead of more recent releases like Terror From the Skies, Cthulhu Britannica: Folklore or The Phantom of Wilson Creek. I wouldn’t ask them to get a review of Atomic Age Cthulhu in, but I do know that TUO is in good standing with every Cthulhuoid publisher out there and that, if they asked, they could get review copies of more recent products to publish in the issue. Even better, these eight pages could be used for previews or chapter samples of upcoming Cthulhu products like Arc Dream’s own The Sense of Sleight of Hand Man or Miskatonic River Press’ Punktown. Either way, it would be a better use of this section, which is nearly an eighth of the magazine, and the talents of Beck, Pook and Simmons. Hey, if any of those three would like review copies, I know a website that is always looking for more tabletop gaming reviewers…

Arcane Artifact: Malyutin’s Nightmare Matryoshkas – I’ve always had a soft spot for stacking dolls, which you probably knew if you read my reviews of Stacking and The Lost Hobo King. These particular dolls are very similar in theme and design to the recent “artifact hunt” that could be found in Shadowrun adventures back in 2011. I’m sure it’s a coincidence because a) those weren’t dolls but seemingly random things and b) while both disperse in similar fashion after a time, you can’t go insane from the Shadowrun version. These dolls are nicely creepy, and besides the Shadowrun comparison, I keep thinking they would have been excellent in an episode of the old Friday the 13th TV series. This is another fun little idea that an enterprising Keeper could make good use of.

China Dolls: Children of Madame Yi – This is a new Lesser Servitor Race for use with Call of Cthulhu. This is a pretty creepy monster, as it’s a mix of Body Snatchers with, well… a mask. No doubt seeing a close friend or relative of an Investigator can be both dramatic and horrific if/when it occurs in a story. The Children of Madame Yi aren’t just a creature you can randomly throw in for shock value, so be sure to craft an adventure that spotlights these nasty beasties.

Die High – This is one of the two adventures in this issue, and it’s a pretty innovative one, not just because it’s designed for Call of Cthulhu, Trail of Cthulhu and Cthulhu Dark. This is the second issue in a row to have an adventure geared for multiple systems, and I love that TUO is doing this, as it maximizes the potential for being used. After all, everyone prefers different systems, and the fact that the work for converting to one’s system preference has been taken care of just makes it all the more attractive. Besides the multi-system offering, “Die High” is a fabulous idea for an adventure, especially if you do it as a one shot, because you can highlight a lot of unusual professions that neither Keepers nor players tend to think of during character creation. As well, the creature spotlighted in this adventure is highly unique and definitely memorable, especially with its preferred method of “attack.” I had a lot of fun flipping through this, and I can’t wait to try it out on some of my friends. “Die High” is roughly a fourth of the issue, so expect to spend the bulk of your reading right here.

Tale of Terror: The Found Phone. This is a one page adventure seed that gives you three possible options for a cell phone containing a grisly video. Personally, I preferred option three as it’s the most shocking to play on an Investigator, but it also doesn’t make for much of an adventure. Still, all three have potential and it’s a cute article.

Tale of Terror: St. Michael’s Gate. This is another three pronged adventure seed where you can pick which option you want to run your Investigators against. What’s nice about this one is that “St. Michael’s Gate” is for Cthulhu Dark Ages, which doesn’t get nearly enough love in my opinion. Here, a religious order has cut off access to the water supply of a village, and it is up to the players to figure out why. Another nice job.

Starting Your Call of Cthulhu Campaign – This is an eight page article in which, unsurprisingly, is contained a guide to starting a Call of Cthulhu campaign. While this is a very well written article, it’s the weakest inclusion in the issue, and I personally wouldn’t have put it in an issue of The Unspeakable Oath. Why? Because nearly every single person that picks this magazine up is a Call of Cthulhu veteran that knows all the tips and tricks included herein. It would be like me writing an article for Pokemon Collector entitled “What are Pokemon?” It might be exceptionally well written, but it’s an article that doesn’t need to exist because the core audience doesn’t need that. That said, this would have been great as an inclusion in a more all encompassing magazine, like the old Kobold Quarterly or Gygax Magazine. Maybe even something for the Chaosium home page. It’s just kind of lost on the majority of people who pick this up.

Tale of Terror: Bargain Hunter – The third adventure seed is also the weakest. Here the Investigators get into a bidding war with another clutch of people over an object of occult importance. The seed gives you three options as to the motivations behind the other group. It’s not bad, but out of the three options, the only one I cared for was the first.

Mysterious Manuscript: Atlas of Arkham 1911 (Annotated) – This is an odd little book, and I’m still not sure if I like the idea of the book or not. Basically it’s a typical atlas of Arkham, MA, but with handwritten commentary by an unknown owner. It’s a neat idea, but one we’ve seen dozens of times throughout the history of Call of Cthulhu. As well, the handwritten notes can be a hard thing to pull off properly, simply because of handwriting issues. The nature of this specific book also makes it too easy for some Keepers to use as a catch-all or Dues Ex Machina for when players get stumped. I didn’t find any of the story seeds that interesting either. I’m sure someone will make use of this however, just not me.

Remember, Remember – This is a Trail of Cthulhu adventure set in modern times on Bonfire Night, meaning non English Keepers may have to do a bit of research to better understand this unique little holiday. I like the setting and location, but I’m not a fan of the story and the flow of the piece. It’s a little too heavy on Mythos creatures for my liking, and like too many ToC published adventures, it reads like the Keeper is holding the hand of the Investigators more than I like. I realize the latter complaint is actually why some people enjoy Trail of Cthulhu, but I like my players to think for themselves instead of being led like a 16-bit JRPG. It’s not a bad adventure, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not my cup of tea, though I can appreciate a lot of the ideas and effort put into this piece.

Tale of Terror: The Smedley House – This is a two page adventure seed and I found it to be a really fascinating one. All three of the options here are well worth pursuing and it’s hard to pick which I would do if I was going to turn this into a full fledged adventure for my friends. Basically, the vacant lot across the street from an Investigator’s house now contains a house, and a friendly neighbor that knows a little too much about them. The question is, where did this come from and why? Again, all three options are extremely well done and I only wish you could do all three!

Directives From A-Cell – It wouldn’t be an issue of The Unspeakable Oath without a fun Delta Green column from Adam Scott Glancy. In this case, we’re given a Delta Green take on “Rogers’ Rules for Ranging” entitled “Alphonse’s Axioms for Agents.” This is a set of forty-four rules for agents to keep in mind as they investigate otherworldly horrors. It’s a lot of fun and very well done. I’m always happy to see new Delta Green articles and TUO is really the only place to get them.

Message In a Bottle: The Thing in the Box – As always, The Unspeakable Oath ends with a piece of short fiction. I’m generally not a fan of the fiction they print in this mag, but this one was interesting. It’s just so weird, I ended up reading it two or three times to see if there was anything “between the lines” so to speak.

So, out of fifteen articles, I can give a thumb’s up to two-thirds of the magazine. Even then, some of the things I wasn’t happy with or fond of was more personal tastes than a lack of quality. As always, The Unspeakable Oath is, pound for pound, the best gaming magazine today and it’s well worth spending five to ten dollars on. If Arc Dream could only keep a consistent publishing schedule going, it could win out “Best Gaming Magazine” award one of these years. My fingers are crossed that 2013 is the year where we get two or more issues of The Unspeakable Oath, as it’s too good not to have a regular publishing schedule.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Unspeakable Oath 22
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Wild Talents: Essential Edition
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2013 18:30:49
After having played in one campaign of Wild Talents and run another, I think it's fair to give my view on it. Spoiler alert! I was in two campaigns of it. It's really really good.

Wild Talents is the (slightly) generic version of the One Roll Engine for superheroes that has powered the WWII supers game Godlike. It allows for a single roll to resolve whether a character succeeds at their task, how well they succeed, and even hit location in combat.

The Essentials Edition is the most stripped down version of the game, but even it contains a great deal of content, including pre-built characters and powers that can be pulled out and used.

Wild Talents is not the best One Roll Engine game (that's A Dirty World, by the way, you're welcome.) But it is the most comprehensive in terms of its breadth and flexibility. You can run any sort of people-with-powers game in Wild Talents. A caveat to this is important, though. In Godlike, the characters were very fragile. A single gunshot could ruin a superhero's day. This reflected well the themes of war and sacrifice that Godlike pursued. However, it does mean that until you develop some skill in the One Roll Engine, you might find yourself with some dead Talents on your hands. It does have a learning curve, and if you're really not sure of the system yet, you absolutely owe it to yourself to TAKE ONE OF THE PREMADE CHARACTERS. Play it first until you get some idea of the various types of dice that will be filling up your die pool (and those of the enemies). Make sure you understand how they're able to shoot you in the head and kill you.

Once you have some skill in avoiding that (or if you don't care whether you avoid it or not because fragile supers is what you want) then Wild Talents will shine.

The Essential Edition is priced amazingly cheaply for such a tremendously thorough and well-tested product. You shouldn't pass it up - just be aware of the learning curve and TRY IT FIRST before you play it "for real". You will be glad you did.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wild Talents: Essential Edition
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